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Committee Members Seek GAO Report on Latest STEM Education and Workforce Trends

Dear Mr. Dodaro:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported the federal government spent more than $3 billion on more than 200 federally funded science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs across 13 federal agencies in fiscal year 2011. While it is important to have a prepared and appropriately targeted STEM workforce to enhance U.S. competitiveness, little is known about the overall effectiveness of the federal education effort. Despite this, the administration continues to offer various initiatives and programs, the latest being a $100 million effort to support a STEM Master Teacher Corps.

Before the Department of Education or any federal agency creates an additional STEM initiative, Congress and the administration should have a better understanding of what employers need from the STEM workforce. American workers must be prepared for these demanding fields, but many federal programs lack the performance metrics to determine whether they have been successful in preparing workers for jobs in fields that are in demand. In fact, a recent article in the Washington Post noted the federal government continues to push students to enter the STEM field, but questions whether there will be jobs available for them when they graduate.

To read the full letter, click here.

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